There is "no fear of paralysis" for Formula 3 driver Sophia Flörsch after undergoing successful surgery on a spinal fracture. 

The 17-year-old suffered the injury in a violent high-speed crash while competing in Sunday's prestigious FIA F3 World Cup Macau Grand Prix. 

Doctors have since succesfully operated on the German, who is expected to remain in hospital for up to two weeks. 

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"Everything is working and everything is in order," Van Amersfoort Racing owner Frits van Amersfoort told the BBC. 

"[Paralysis] was the main fear. That's why the operation had to be done quite quickly because there was a danger it [her spinal cord] could be damaged.

"We are extremely happy that she is now recovering and that everything went extremely well. There's no fear of paralysis whatsoever."

Battling for position on lap four, Flörsch clipped the back of rival Jehan Daruvala - a collision which destroyed the front and rear left suspension on her car and sent her hurtling out of control and over the kerbs at the tight right-hander at Lisboa. 

Further contact was then made with Sho Tsuboi, with the resulting impact catapulting Flörsch's car through the catch fencing before it struck a bunker station for photographers.

van Amersfoort said that Flörsch had an "angel on her shoulder" to survive the accident, with the team estimating she had been travelling at 276kmh (171.6mph). 

Asked if he thinks Flörsch will return to racing, van Amersfoort replied: "I'm quite sure that Sophia will - after some time of course.

"Luckily enough winter is now beginning so she will have time to recover and I am quite sure that she will be back.

"That's what the racing blood always does - coming back because this is the sport we all love."

TOM'S driver Tsuboi and photographer Hiroyuki Minami have both been discharged from hospital. 

Fellow photographer, Chan Weng Wang, had a liver laceration, while marshal Chan Cha suffered a broken jaw and cuts. Both remain in hospital but are expected to be released in the coming days.


Flörsch has released a new update via her personal Instagram account thanking well-wishers and the team supporting her recovery. She will continue to recover in hospital in Macau until she is strong enough to fly home.

“I survived the operation which took 11 hours well. Hope from now on it only gets better. I have to stay a few more days in Macau until I am transportable,” she wrote. “I want to thank all of my fans for every single get-well wishes, which I now start reading. This really motivates me and gives me courage.

“My thoughts are also with everyone who was involved in the accident. I hope everybody is healthy. At the accident were really nice people, which I still have in my mind. Thank you for all the encouraging, calming words in these tough minutes in my car.

“A real big thanks to the medical staff here in Macau for the friendly and professional treatment. A huge thank you to the local FIA rescue-team, Mercedes AMG F1, HWA, the FIA and their medical team in the background and the Macau GP organisation, who support me in the best way.

“Also a special thanks to Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli and last but not least my Team Van Amersfoort Racing, Facu Regalia and Ferdinand Habsburg who all suffer with me - you are phenomenal. I’m going to come back! By the way... Dallara has built a very stable chassis.”


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